The Bible, Theology, and Faith: A Study of Abraham and Jesus

By R. W. L. Moberly | Go to book overview

7
Summary and prospect

Our final task is twofold. On the one hand, it is necessary to give a summary account of my thesis as a whole, to draw together the threads of the previous argument, and to show how the exegesis of Genesis 22 and Matthew's Gospel illustrates the wider thesis about biblical interpretation in relation to faith in God, as focussed in Jesus Christ. On the other hand, I will offer some preliminary heuristic suggestions as to one way to take debate further, with reference to how one important issue within this thesis – the theme of testing – might relate to a wider engagement of Christian faith with contemporary contexts of life where God and faith are not (apparently) on the agenda.


Summary

(1) Biblical interpretation and the problem of 'letter'
and 'spirit'

In general terms, the issues posed by the interpretation of the Old Testament in relation to Christ, as discussed in the context of the Emmaus story (chapter 2), have many significant analogies to the question of the interpretation of the Bible as a whole in relation to the question of God within the context of a rule of faith (chapter 1). The same kinds of anxieties about misreading through historical anachronism and/or misuse through interpretative imperialism constantly recur in both contexts. Yet although these are real and recurrent dangers for Christian interpretation, they are not its necessary corollaries, being signs rather of the malfunctioning of a living tradition.

We have argued that to read the Old Testament in the light of Christ is not to introduce into the text something that is not really there

-225-

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